A goat, a beehive and 20,000 trees (and a bit of bigging myself up…..)

For Christmas, the WC and I gave my girls a goat and a beehive respectively. Through Oxfam, in their names, the items were bought for a needy family somewhere. It’s something I have felt strongly about all their lives. Christmas is to me a time to share what we have and remember that not everyone has the basics in life.

Roll on and eldest, who works in Tokyo, has been brain-storming with colleagues and the CEO of the large international company she works for to come up with ways to mark a 10th anniversary event for the staff. Daughter mentioned the goat to the CEO. He loved the idea. The company is now looking to buy 20,000 trees for a global reforestation initiative on behalf of the staff.

Daughter told me that the boss was impressed that I had raised them to realise that giving something to someone who needs help is a better present that some short lived shiny thing. She told me she was proud of having a mum like me. I can tell you peeps, it was a very emotional moment.

And here’s to the planet…. 20,000 trees will not change the world, but it will help.

Golden eyed pigeon

Over the last few weeks I have been working on this bird. A step away from yarny things and I loved the whole process. When in France, artist sister and I visited a branch of Emmaus in Ruffec. We got our days and times very wrong. It was not open to the public, but someone took pity on two hapless women and let us in. It was a veritable Aladdin’s cave of used items. We found off-cuts of linen, possibly a tablecloth. I dyed mine when we got home. That was a disaster. What I hoped would be olive green turned out like camouflage. Not to be deterred I got an image of a pigeon from the ‘net and fiddled with it a bit. Then started with chain stitch. I am rubbish at colours so artist sister said to choose some blues and browns, but there were hardly any of the latter in the stash I had, so I went with grey. She also said to put all the other colours away. That works. I had an attempt at satin stitch and a long and short stitch but am not good at either. But, what amazed me is that I kept on working even until the wee hours last night, to finish it.

I am very happy with it. It is my first embroidery and first finished anything in a long time. It is big enough to be a cushion and mum it seems knows all about cushion making. I am going to get her to help me, which will be very good for both of us.

I acquired a piece of black felt in a charity shop here for £1 and am about to work out my next design.

Sitting in the morning shade

waiting for the temperature to soar. It reached 35 outside the house yesterday. Officially, I am writing reflections for my first ever nurse revalidation. It means I will have been qualified three years soon and we have to check in to prove we are still fit to practice. In fact, I am just enjoying the sound of the gulls and a solitary plane overheard.

The close has seen an explosion of baby gulls. Many pairs having two babies this year. I still cannot work out where the eggs are laid and where the babies are reared until they can stand on the roofs with their parents. All live on steeply sloped roofs, a gutter maybe? We don’t seem to get any gulls. Moss might be a deterrent.

We, the WC, artist sister, her partner and I had a road trip to France recently. It seems we got a window before the next lockdown happens. Sun and sunflowers are my lasting impression. Stone houses with cool interiors and swallows everywhere. Where we stayed, swallows were flying through a round window of a barn to their nests. When my sister was sitting in the garden, one bird flew in and circled the living room before flitting out. In some cultures, swallows are allowed to nest in the home. Birds and humans giving each other space.

Standing up

on a paddle board is quite a thrill, a wobbly thrill to be fair but it is fun. Artist sis and I have been out on the Cuckmere River with some of my work family… after three night shifts too. I then did a solo trip and got onto my feet. A whole new awareness of rivers and waterways has begun. A whole new group of people who paddle and kayak too.

We are though a bit weather wary and have no life jackets as yet, so have not ventured out to sea. With the promise of hot weather over the next week, that might just happen. A fried has promised to take me around the pier. Now that is exciting.

Feeling Good

Is how I feel today. The sun is shining. A little blackbird hen has taking to coming into the garden and very close to me when I am watering. She seems almost tame. She gets meal worms and we are both happy. Everything that can be blooming is blooming gorgeous.

It’s been a while since these feelings have bubbled to the surface.

Nina says it best. Hope you get this link. Skip the ads, and listen to one of the most uplifting songs there is.

He’s home….

He was seen last night by a neighbour, trapped inside an empty house literally metres from our drive. He had gone in through a cat flap that was locked from the inside and could not get out. It is so wonderful to have him back. Thin, very hungry, but oddly not thirsty. There must have been something for him to drink in the house, loo water?? He has been very present today when we were in the garden. His black and white feline friend dropped by to see him and the dog is delighted.


Our beautiful, glossy, funny, soft, friendly, silly hunter of a cat, Moss, has gone missing. We are bereft. Word is out in the neighbourhood. Pet tracking updated, vets notified. We will do a street to street search when the WC comes home. I am out every hour, calling.

We just want him home.

Golf and garden centres

The WC arrived home very happy yesterday with the news that the golf course is open today after what seems to him, a life-time. He tees off at after lunch. He is excited and I am not adverse to the thought of a little bit more quiet time in the house.

Shiofune Kannon Temple.

In addition, the local garden centres opened for business today and we were at one before the tills were switched on. We are creating an azalea bank under our cherry trees. Very japonesque. This photo of Shiofune (saltboat) Kannon Temple in Tokyo is the look we are going for. We do not have a hill or a bell-tower, but our shed will form a architectural backdrop of sorts! So far it has been quite a challenge sourcing the plants, and then there are the colours. Candy pink is not really for me but azaleas tend to be pinky. We have managed to find some oranges and yellows as well as firey reds and salmon pinks. Once they are in and established we are hoping for a merged bank of colours.

The garden has really kept us going over the last few weeks and it looks lovely. The sad part is that we cannot sit in it with family and friends, yet.